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All you people that are smart when it comes to taxes

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
What are some unknown tax deductions? I mean, like we just had our house painted? Is that tax deductible?
post #2 of 21
Yeah I'd like to know too. please?
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jugen View Post
Yeah I'd like to know too. please?
I hope someone knows!
post #4 of 21
I'm about to be hit with a huge tax at the end of the year because of our new house so any break I can get is worth it to me.
post #5 of 21
Turbo Tax knows! When in doubt, keep the receipts. Renovations to a dedicated home office are tax deductible. But in order to qualify for the deduction the home office has to be your primary place of work and exclusive to your business.

I love Turbo Tax though. It is totally worth it if you own a home, or work from home.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jugen View Post
I'm about to be hit with a huge tax at the end of the year because of our new house so any break I can get is worth it to me.
How are you going to get taxed on your new house? Are you not escrowing the taxes? If anything you should get a huge rebate from the interest you pay this year. Also if you paid any points to buy down your rate.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cairo View Post
How are you going to get taxed on your new house? Are you not escrowing the taxes? If anything you should get a huge rebate from the interest you pay this year. Also if you paid any points to buy down your rate.
We just bought the house in May. Yes we are escrowing the taxes but the downpayment came from mom (in the form of stocks) and well the accountant says Uncle Sam wants a portion of it...
post #8 of 21
Did your mom gift the stocks to you??? Parents can give gifts to their children of up to $11K (or is it $12K)/yr.
Any time home renovations are done (interior/exterior) all receipts should be kept!! We have them broken down by room!! So when the house is put for sale you have the needed info.
If you need more specific tax questions pm and I'll ask my acct hubby!!
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC View Post
Did your mom gift the stocks to you??? Parents can give gifts to their children of up to $11K (or is it $12K)/yr.
Any time home renovations are done (interior/exterior) all receipts should be kept!! We have them broken down by room!! So when the house is put for sale you have the needed info.
If you need more specific tax questions pm and I'll ask my acct hubby!!
Hmmm... Mom gifted us 20k. Can I take 11k off? That would be so nice. But I don't know about IA tax laws.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittylover4ever View Post
What are some unknown tax deductions? I mean, like we just had our house painted? Is that tax deductible?
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC View Post
Any time home renovations are done (interior/exterior) all receipts should be kept!! We have them broken down by room!! So when the house is put for sale you have the needed info.
Only when you sell your house, as Gail said, so keep the receipts for then.
post #11 of 21
No, you can't claim painting the house on taxes. It is considered a maintenance item rather than a home improvement. Most home improvements cannot be claimed until the point that you sell your house and those are only used to reduce the capital gain at the point of sale. Of course if you use your home for business, then the rules change, but you would have to list the painting as a business expense and then only claim a portion of the painting based on the % of your house used for the business. It gets really messy.

The only deduction that I've found are related to improvements for energy efficient things like doors and windows. As of last year, you couldn't take credit for energy efficient appliances or anything like that - they figure you are getting reduced utility rates with those.

Keep every receipt for anything that you have ever done with your house and write on the top what it was for. You will need these if you ever sell it.
post #12 of 21
Energy break, if you've newly done stuff to make your house more energy-efficient, such as adding new insulation, etc. We just installed a new, more energy-efficient heat pump last winter, and I plan to use that on my Federal taxes (keep your receipts/proof, too).

I think someone also mentioned mortgage interest--by all means--you get a very nice break for this early on in your mortgage, as you're now mostly paying interest, not principle.

Do you deduct what you pay (out of your paycheck) in states taxes on your Federal taxes? I do.

Do you or a spouse have to wear uniforms/special shoes, etc. to work, and/or pay for them to be cleaned? Deduct!

Charitiable contributions.

IRA deductions (for some people; fill in the worksheet provided with the Fed forms, to see if you qualify; even though you may have before, income can change this from year to year, so check).

Over 65?

Blind (I'm assuming, since your posting on here, that you're not, but a spouse could be)

Of course, the standard exemtions for kids, dependents, etc.

There may also be: (check first, of course--I'm not H&R Block! :-))

Child care expenses
Moving expenses (I think it's if you've moved over 50 miles)
Eyeglasses
Medical bills (NOt as great as it sounds--don't get too excited here!)
Prescriptions (ditto)
If you pay child support(?)
Homeschooling your kids (?)

I always file jointly; we get a better refund that way.

Unfortunately, you can't claim the cats as dependents. Sorry.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jugen View Post
Hmmm... Mom gifted us 20k. Can I take 11k off? That would be so nice. But I don't know about IA tax laws.
not only can you take $11K off u shuld be able to take the whole amount off. i think u can consider that an $10K gift to u and a $10K gift to ur DH.

at least i hope so, cause im now in need of some serious paretal gifting this year, lol.
post #14 of 21
Apparently I'm an idiot when it comes to taxes. The state is still sitting on my tax return that I filed it in fricken March. First they gave me some BS about not being a resident for the entire year and they could only give me half, but I'm still not seeing that half...
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jugen View Post
Hmmm... Mom gifted us 20k. Can I take 11k off? That would be so nice. But I don't know about IA tax laws.
You may only have to pay the taxes on the earnings, not on the full amount, depending if it was a tax deferred plan or a mutual fund (or something similiar) that she invested in after taxes. Taxes on the earning would be much less than the full amount.
post #16 of 21
Did she cash in the stock first and gift it to you, or did she give you the stock and then you cashed it in later. If it was the 2nd, you may owe taxes on the sale price minus the purchase price, but not on the whole $20,000 (and yes, she can give $10,000 to you and $10,000 to your spouse).
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice guys.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jugen View Post
We just bought the house in May. Yes we are escrowing the taxes but the downpayment came from mom (in the form of stocks) and well the accountant says Uncle Sam wants a portion of it...
Is mom on the deed? If so, then in my understanding of it, its not a gift... just her portion of the down payment.
post #19 of 21
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by catgirl2548m View Post
not only can you take $11K off u shuld be able to take the whole amount off. i think u can consider that an $10K gift to u and a $10K gift to ur DH.

at least i hope so, cause im now in need of some serious paretal gifting this year, lol.
My parents ran into this issue last year. They gave my husband and I a small downpayment for our condo, plus they gave us one of their old cars. To make sure they were able to deduct the full amount beyond the "per child" limit, they made the downpayment check out to me only and signed the car over to my husband only (not both of us jointly).
post #21 of 21
Oh, and my favorite tax deduction is education expenses. I've been paying out of pocket for 8 credits per quarter......that's a tax write off (though it might be only up to a certain amount). We have an accountant that does our taxes because we own a business (s-corporation) and small business taxes are a pain in the ass that I don't want to deal with!
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